death remains impartial
Someone gave him a bottle of whisky, another tucked a pocket of smoking tobacco into his jacket. For the journey, since we were all pagans before we were Christian before we were Buddhist, and the oldest traditions hold strongest and the journey across the dark sea will be long, and he will want a drink and a smoke on the way. The mortal walls of the coffin are built from memory and laughing sorrow. What leaches out into our lives from the spent core of the recently passed are neutrinos; neither this nor that until we are changed by them. Result becomes valance. Speak no ill of the dead we say, and perhaps it is because the dead are not dead, but incorporated into us, our lives, our recollections drawing back together the diffused trajectories of a life into a new and shining constellation. We are saying, speak no ill of us, either. Yes death is impartial, but the life we give and re-give to one another is a marvelous and mysterious thing. Inheritance of memory, of more than memory, of having been changed, and changing.